Here is a copy of an email that I recently received from a prospective client last week.
My daughter was recently arrested for shoplifting at Best Buy in Cool Springs, Franklin, Tennessee. She only took $112.00 worth of merchandise and never left the store. Do I really need to get her a lawyer for a first time misdemeanor shoplifting charge? Her court date is next week in Franklin General Sessions Court. She is a college student at the University of Tennessee and has never been arrested.
My response: It is likely, although not mandatory, that you daughter will qualify for a first time offender program called diversion. This program will allow her to enter a conditional guilty plea and she will be eligible to have her record expunged after the successful completion of probation. I strongly urge you to seek counsel in this matter because shoplifting is a crime of honesty and a permanent conviction would hurt her future employment opportunities. In fact, a shoplifting conviction will result in significant implications for her ability to get employment in the future. Employers tend to be skeptical of hiring people with theft or shoplifting charges. In fact, many major corporations and the federal government will not hire if the applicant has a theft conviction. The good news is that it is likely that this matter can be resolved in her favor. It just may take some work to do so. Williamson County is a very strict jurisdiction and an attorney is necessary if she hopes to achieve a favorable result. I wish you the best of luck.
Here is a real life shoplifting story from one of my clients.
I recently represented a client on an assault and vandalism charge that was resolved very favorably for her. A month or so later, she called with a question about a criminal background check and a promotion opportunity with a local bank in the commercial loan department. I assured her the charges would not show up because they were dismissed and expunged. However, she had a question about another charge (shoplifting) that occurred a couple of years ago. I called the court in Alabama and was informed that the charge was a permanent conviction that could not be expunged. Apparently, the local Judge is a real hard ass. My client, at the time, was a college student who simply went to court and pleads guilty. She thought no big deal. The court did not require jail or probation. Unfortunately, she was not only denied the job promotion but she was also fired from the bank. Most employers will not hire you if you have a history of theft. This whole situation could have been avoided if she would have fired an attorney on the front end.
If you need help with a theft or shoplifting charge in Tennessee, give Lee Martin a call at 615-345-1988. He has over 16 years of criminal defense experience and knows how to get results. With a proven track record, your mind will be put to ease.